However, Gorgon learned his father was killed by Maximus? lieutenant the Seeker. When the royal family returned to Attilan with a memory-restored Medusa, the bargain was abolished. Black Bolt reclaimed his crown from Maximus, but Maximus activated an Atmo-Gun intended to send shockwaves to kill all humans, leaving the Inhumans to rule the Earth. However, the device found humans and Inhumans similar due to their shared ancestry and had no effect on either. Reversing the weapon?s energies, Maximus erected a barrier of so-called ?Negative Zone? energy around Attilan, sealing them off from humanity. Maximus? failure as king brought about a relapse of madness. Although the other royals tried to make him remove his barrier, Maximus behaved like a child and instead built tools such as a water-rebreather for Triton to supply him with a circulating source of water on land. Black Bolt eventually destroyed the barrier with his voice.
Maximus maintained a group of loyal ?evil? Inhumans comprised of Aiero, Falcona, Nebulo, Leonus, Stallior, and Timberius. With their aid and by manipulating the Hulk (Bruce Banner), Maximus sought an energy-absorbing substance from Attilan?s vaults, but Black Bolt thwarted him. Relying upon hypnotic potions, Maximus sapped the royals? willpower and again assumed the throne, designing a Hypno-Gun that he hoped would enslave all people on Earth. The royal family?s human allies the Fantastic Four came to their rescue, and Maximus fled Attilan with his associates.
The evil Inhumans attempted to conquer the Central American nation Costa Salvador using a robot that could control minds through hypnotic ray beams, but the Hulk again crossed their path and fought them. When the United States sent forces to drive Maximus out of Costa Salvador, destroying the robot, he and his followers fled again. Setting up a base on a deserted island, Maximus launched a missile attack on Attilan with materials that would make them think the Fantastic Four were the attackers. Black Bolt sent Triton to investigate Maximus? whereabouts, and he found the evidence implicating Maximus as their attacker. In another attempt to conquer Attilan with his followers, Maximus encountered the Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd) and briefly manipulated him into attacking Black Bolt.
Maximus was finally captured and placed in suspended animation by Black Bolt. When Black Bolt left Attilan on a mission to the United States, Karnak and Gorgon released Maximus from his prison, thinking it was inhumane treatment. As soon as he was released, Maximus unleashed a mental bolt which struck Black Bolt and gave him amnesia. Maximus? powers were at their peak as he drove out the other royals and reclaimed the throne, erecting another barrier around Attilan. Contacting the Kree, who were in the early stages of a resurgence of the age-old Kree-Skrull War, Maximus offered his subjects as foot soldiers in the battle, but the other royals eventually found Black Bolt with his memory restored and joined forces with the Avengers to storm Attilan and drive away Maximus? Kree allies. Maximus suffered another mental breakdown at his defeat.
In his next scheme, Maximus took advantage of his people?s dislike of the Alpha Primitives by constructing Omega, an immense android fueled by their feelings of guilt. When the Fantastic Four realized Omega?s nature, they informed the Inhumans, who rendered Omega inert by controlling their emotions. Maximus subsequently sought an alliance with the robot Ultron, using a tractor beam to bring his head to Attilan for repair, attaching him to Omega?s body. However, Ultron had no interest in an alliance and turned on Maximus once he was operational, only to be subsequently defeated by the Inhumans, Fantastic Four, and Avengers.
When the Royal Family briefly left Attilan on business, Maximus took Crystal and her mutant husband, Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), hostage, forcing Black Bolt to again grant him the throne when he returned. Maximus revived his alliance with the Kree, offering Shatterstar (Arides) the Inhumans? most powerful members for use in the War of the Three Galaxies, but Triton defeated Shatterstar. Black Bolt was driven to such despair by Maximus? apparent victory that he unleashed his voice on Attilan, virtually leveling the city.
Maximus joined forces with the Enclave, a team of genius scientists, allowing them to kidnap Medusa so she could be used as an agent in the conquest of Attilan. However, when the Enclave threatened Medusa?s life, Maximus turned against the Enclave and was killed when his gun overloaded and exploded. Maximus survived, but remained in a death-like coma. Black Bolt soon relocated Attilan to the Blue Area of the Moon to aid his brother?s failing health. When an extraterrestrial crystal beneath the city caused the population to hallucinate, it inadvertently awoke Maximus? mind. Before the crystal was destroyed, Maximus used the confusion to psionically exchange bodies with Black Bolt. Maximus reaffirmed his ties to the Enclave and aided them in building devices that would launch meteorites from the moon to the Earth?s surface. When the Avengers were dispatched to Attilan to investigate the Inhumans? possible culpability, Maximus made the royal family attack the Avengers. In his excitement, he spoke out loud. Instantly realizing he was not Black Bolt, the Inhumans retrieved Maximus? body from its crypt and restored the two brothers to their rightful bodies. The Avengers quickly rounded up the Enclave, ending the scheme.